I've just started driving again after almost 15 years of not driving (don't worry I am taking refresher lessons) and my instructor mentioned that the moment that people pass their drivers licence they immediately stop doing those 'little' things that make driving safer - like checking their blind spot.

 

So confession time.... when you are driving how often do you check your blind spot or do you rely too much on your mirrors?

 

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if you go to an advanced driving course they will teach you NOT to look over your shoulder, your eyes are no longer on the road.  They taught us how to adjust mirrors for best coverage and all it takes is a shift left or right by a few centimeters to check a blind spot if you still have one, that way your face is still forward and noticing the conditions ahead.

Also mentioned that if you look over your shoulder in the highway patrol tests you will fail your course.

I've been a much safer driver and have not had one incident since no longer looking over my shoulder when turning or changing lanes.

Work on not having blind spots in the first place, you don't need to see the side of your own car on your side mirrors, you know where the side of you car is already.

What Rob said!

I've also done advanced driver training and learned this as well. I had no idea before and always adjusted mirrors so you could see part of the car, of course this is actually useless so learning to adjust the mirrors properly means no blind spot.

So are you saying that you don't bother to check your blind spot when you are pulling into the curb?

point is there is no blind spot, you still look.

When I did my driving test if you didn't check your blind spots you automatically failed. I am not sure if it's still the case .

+1

I have my mirrors set out wide on both sides to eliminate the traditional blind spot area. If a bike or motorcycle is not in my mirror it would have to be so far forward that I could see them through the passenger window.

I'm amazed at poeple who borrow my car and adjust the mirrors so far in they see the rear door handles and not much else. I can't see any part of my own car in the mirrors when they are properly adjusted - unless I rock my head left or right as you do.

 If a bike or motorcycle is not in my mirror it would have to be so far forward that I could see them through the passenger window.

 

Yes, and by that time they are rolling over your bonnet. I've lost count of how many drivers just pull in without looking even if I am right next to them.

Of course you should ALWAYS be looking, no excuse for not turning your head, but we are talking about blind spots - defined as places you can't see into even when you are looking.

Most of this is about situational awareness - you should always be aware of others you are sharing the road with. Nobody can suddenly appear next to you if you maintain good awareness of your surroundings. Another reason why riding with iPods is knuts!

BTW, IMO being next to a car is putting yourself in the firing line. In front or behind is better.

BTW, IMO being next to a car is putting yourself in the firing line. In front or behind is better.

If I was to stay behind the cars on my daily commute to Redfern from Summer Hill it would take me around 2 - 3hrs to get to work in the bumper to bumper traffic... I'd be better off catching the train. Probably get fitter as well!

All we need is to be more aware & courteous of each other on the roads...

I know some motorists are very aware of cyclists they actually pull to the left on a cyclist approach to stop them riding past.

What I mean is that cruising along beside a car, or worse, level with the back of the car is asking to be "blindspotted".

There's no such thing as a safe driver. 

Yes i check my blind spot, not in all situations, but always in congested situations. It freaks me out how many motorists don't know what's going on around them, especially when motor vehicle traffic is almost at a stand still. 

Here's some food for thought on defensive driving courses. 

http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/defensive-driving-risks-s...

Gah, if you're going to trot that crap out I'll have to paste in what I wrote on Adrian's FB comment.

"Having done an advance driver training I'm actually in favour of every young person having to do one before getting off their P plates.

I grew up and learned to drive on dirt roads and consider myself a pretty good driver as a result, and I can tell you that I drove away from that course a LOT slower than I drove in. 

The course was a lot more aimed at teaching people how to not panic and be able to get themselves out of trouble, awareness and good visibility of things around you, and the safe limits for normal driving than "how to go as fast as you can".

This story seems like a beat up. As much as I dislike Mark Skaife, he's right on the money."


Anyway, this is waaaaay off topic from Cycling in Sydney :)


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